Proposals for an action plan to increase the number of British trainee ratings were discussed at a seminar to mark the 40th anniversary of the JW Slater Fund.
Shipowner, government and Nautilus and RMT union representatives were joined by apprentices and Slater Fund scholars at the event, which was jointly organised by Nautilus and the Merchant Navy Training Board.
The meeting heard concerns about the declining number of British ratings and examined ideas for increasing training numbers and overcoming barriers to recruitment and employment. It considered ways to promote training, increase the number of training berths and to protect UK employment in key sectors.
‘We know that for some companies cost is an over-riding factor, but we know that other companies are looking at cost in terms of human capital as well — an investment that is not just financial but one which reflects the value of training apprentices and the loyalty and rates of retention which may come out of that,’ said MNTB training manager Mark Burgess.
The seminar also heard of the ‘remarkable achievements’ made by the JW Slater Fund, which is administered by Nautilus and was launched by the Union in 1977 in honour of a former general secretary. His son, David Slater, said the charity has donated some £5.5m to help ratings and other seafarers to gain officer certification and the numbers being supported by the fund have more than doubled over the past four years.
Top photo: apprentice ratings at the JW Slater Fund seminar
Tuesday, July 11, 2017